Nigeria has not made headway in converting its leading agricultural export, cocoa, as its next oil-type big revenue earner as a result of failure to address poor production quality and low packaging standards, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has said.
Joe Itah, the head of corporate communications in a statement said the continued failure to align production with premium international requirements for cocoa export has not only debased its potential revenue expectations but also affected the country’s ranking in the international cocoa space.
Itah who noted the council was working out strategies to reposition the country’s cocoa market said the council had taken initiative to understudy the US market behaviour towards Nigeria cocoa, with the outcome revealing an urgent need to address the problem of quality.
“To gain access to the premium USA cocoa market, the council sponsored a team of MBA students of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) the USA, to understudy the demand and supply situation of Nigeria cocoa in the US market. The outcome of this collaboration and research is the need for Nigeria to increase its cocoa production as well as improve its quality to conform to global market requirements. Furthermore, there is the need to address the issue of low quality and poor packaging in order to have access to cocoa import markets,” the NEPC head of communications said.
According to him, the council has begun to reorientate local producers on the essence of applying best practices in order to brighten the product’s prospects globally.